Rain today, tropics, and Mars landing tonight!August 5th, 2012 at 10:00 pm by David Mazza under Weather
Our big ridge is making its exit off to the west-northwest and allowed a weak mid level trough to slide through the area today. The result was a nice little watering of the lawns for people in our eastern counties. This afternoon a lot of people in Austin saw the dark clouds and a few of us even felt a few little sprinkles, but as a whole, the showers just gave us here in Travis and Williamson counties just a little heat relief. Look below at the temperature graphs from Camp Mabry and ABIA, both saw about a 9-12 degree temp drop as the rain cooled air moved in this afternoon.
Looking at rainfall estimates from our VIPIR radar today, you can see that most of the area south and east of Austin and I-35 saw some rainfall today.
The heaviest of the rain fell between about 2p and 4p across our eastern counties and then started to weaken in the late afternoon hours.
The good news is over the next week it appears the big heat ridge that had been in control of our weather will stay far enough to the west to allow a few little ripples in the atmosphere that will allow us several slight chances of an afternoon shower. Again the best chances will remain in our eastern counties. The only bad news about this, is humidity should be a bit higher and more uncomfortable the next week.
As far as the tropics go, Florence has been weakening through the day today as she pushes west. As of now, she is a weak tropical storm with winds at 40mph and is forecast to become a tropical depression by Monday. Ernesto weakened a bit from last night into this morning, but has gotten a little better organized later today. The storm has also slowed its forward speed down a bit. Winds with the storm make is a moderate strength tropical storm. Each forecast run that has come out continues to forecast Ernesto travel farther south. The current forecast will keep the storm well away from the US mainland through the rest of the life of Ernesto. Below is a plot of the latest forecast models for Ernesto. The white line is the official track which lies to the north of the guidance (for right now).
Here is the 10pm update from the NHC with the new track for Ernesto. The biggest change in this update is the forecast for Ernesto to become a weak Cat.1 hurricane at landfall near Belize Tuesday night. Also the track appears to be shifted slightly south to reflect this evening’s guidance. Also, the latest forecast does not re-intensify the storm into a Hurricane again when it re-enters the Bay of Campeche.
MARS LANDING TONIGHT!!!
As Jim Spencer Blogged about a few days ago (http://blogs.kxan.com/2012/08/03/the-coming-mars-landing-sky-show/) the Curiosity Rover is getting set to make its landing on Mars just after midnight tonight our time (12:31am). It will be quite an amazing event if successful. The current speed of the craft is about 8,400 mph as it closes in on the red planet. The landing will cap off a 36 week mission to Mars!!! Remember that next time you’re stuck on a 3 hour flight somewhere For more information on the mission you can go to the NASA site http://www.nasa.gov/mars Curiosity, just like all of us has its own facebook page as well http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and you can follow on twitter too http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity. I would suggest checking the NASA/mars site for information and videos on this mission.